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As the only professional body dedicated to internal communication in the UK, we exist to help organisations and people succeed through promoting internal communication of the highest standard.
The Institute now and in its previous incarnations has always had a good cross-section of members representing the interests of in-house teams, agencies, consultancies and freelancers. So, over the years, we have heard a lot about the type of situations that can arise in the client/supplier relationship.

The coming together of two organisations to develop and implement a project can optimise results, but it can also bring challenges. Apart from relationship issues and changing situations in one or other organisation, there is also the impact of more global considerations such as tough economic conditions and the pressures that these bring.

Whatever the circumstances, there are two principles that should always be adhered to. Firstly, aim for ‘best value’ rather than ‘low cost’ – as the latter option could actually turn into ‘quite costly’ over time as a result of negative outcomes from not selecting the right supplier. Secondly, it is important to maintain a systematic approach to managing the relationship – do not leave anything to chance, regardless of how well things may seem to be going at any given time. How to keep improving performance should remain at the forefront of everyone’s minds and in the
widest context – it shouldn’t just relate to what the supplier is doing!

In producing this guide, the Institute has benefited from a body of existing work including the excellent A Fine Romance, produced by the British Association of Communicators in Business in the late 1990s, and recent IoIC freelancer surveys. We have broadened out the scope in this guide so that it is relevant to a wide range of suppliers, and we have also sought to reflect recent developments affecting the marketplace, such as e-auctions.

We hope that you find this publication useful, and that it helps you in developing and maintaining positive and fruitful client/supplier relationships. Members can download it from below:

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